Sunday, April 08, 2007

Prop. 36 is working

Here's a link to a Register editorial on Prop. 36, the voter-passed measure that replaces incarceration with treatment for drug users convicted of simple possession. It was sparked by an L.A. Times story that expressed dismay that some people were "gaming" the system by not finishing treatment or not taking it seriously. We pointed out that the success rate for Prop. 36 beneficiaries is comparable to the success rate for those who go into treatment voluntarily (or with a push from friends and family), and those coerced into treatment by a court.

The best approach to drug problems, of course, is to decriminalize all "illicit" drugs so individuals can handle medical/personal problems their own way -- and take reponsibility for the outcome of their actions. But making a pernicious system a little less worse is still a worthy undertaking -- and Prop. 36 is helping a few people to deal with their problems, and others to see the drug war differently.

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